4 Play 2
“Does everyone have everything they need,” Xander asked, “like that whatever that blue compact is that Dawn and Dawn already forgot?”
“I remembered,” Dawn Rosenberg said, pulling out a notepad and two blue compacts. “I made a list so I wouldn't forget and even brought a spare.”
Dawn Osborn snagged one of the compacts. “Yoink!”
“Forget to bring yours?” Rosenberg asked.
Osborn nodded. “Thanks.”
“Two weeks,” Xander said, causing some blushing. “I don't know why, but that's what mom and Joyce said.”
“Not necessarily,” Osborn smirked.
Dawn Summers rolled her eyes. “I'd rather wait than take a risk and screw things up.”
“Not what I meant,” Osborn said.
“I'd rather wait than have plastic covering everything,” Dawn Harris said firmly.
“Also not what I meant,” Osborn replied, “you have to walk before you can run but...”
“You can jog,” Rosenberg pointed out, “you can also skip …” her voice trailed off and she turned bright red.
“Does everyone have everything they need,” Xander asked again, “if so I say we hit LA and find a better vehicle.” He was firmly trying not to think about what they were discussing.
“We can pick up a copy of the LA Times at a gas station on the way,” Harris suggested.
“If we're hanging in LA for a couple of days anyway I can put out some feelers,” Osborn offered.
“And I can check online,” Rosenberg said.
“I can check with dad,” Summers perked up and added, “he's probably got some local contacts.”
“Are we going to Disneyland while we're here?” Rosenberg asked hopefully.
“We're a bit too old for something that childish,” Summers said sadly.
“It’s mostly a place for kids,” Harris agreed with a sigh.
“So in other words we're going?” Osborn asked Xander.
“Damn skippy,” Xander agreed cheerfully.
“Have you tried using the DNA from two of your current generation and seeing what the results would be if you mixed them?” Xander asked.
“Yes, nothing viable – you see the cellular degeneration was unique for every member of my species and only retarded in regards to cloning since that was all that concerned us at the time,” Loki explained.
Xander groaned. “I wish I was as smart as you.”
“I am smarter and yet it has not helped me solve this problem. There is knowledge somewhere, possibly among the ruins of an Ancient's city that will allow me to save my people. Perhaps we should start searching there.”
“Or do both at once,” Xander said, “just because we haven't gotten results fast enough to suit us is no reason to stop searching in that direction too.”
“How do you mean?” Loki asked.
“Since we don't know where the answer is we might as well continue flailing around in the dark as well as blazing a path just in case we get lucky.”
Loki stood there blinking for a moment in a way that Xander had learned to interpret as deep thought. “That is … stupidly brilliant.”
“Stupidly brilliant?” Xander asked.
“On the surface it is illogical; the idea of a fool and a waste of resources however actually examining the concept it possesses the potential to find any number of solutions to the problems facing us or at the very least to increase the efficiency of other portions of our search. You say you wish you were smart like me; I wish I were stupid like you. Your race has a way of making intuitive leaps that mine lacks.”
“We also lack the logical mind to make our leaps into a reality a lot of the time,” Xander said shaking his head. “Trust me on this.”
“Then it is a good thing that we are working together,” Loki said. “I have set the ship on course to an Ancient outpost, in the meantime let us continue brain storming.”
“You said the goa'uld use sarcophagi to keep themselves going forever?”
“The effects on their brains and culture are not positive,” Loki said.
“Yeah, but what if we ….”
Hank froze as he saw the four Dawn's and Xander, all wearing Mickey Mouse ears.
“Daddy!” Dawn Summers exclaimed before running up and giving him a great big hug, while the others simply walked over.
“Princess,” he said, hugging her back with a confused look in his eyes.
“Mr. Summers,” Xander introduced himself, “I'm Xander Harris and this is Dawn Harris, Dawn Osborn, and Dawn Rosenberg.”
“Nice to meet you,” Hank said gravely, holding his daughter like she might vanish at any moment. “I'll pay 25,000 dollars if you promise to tell me there is a logical explanation for this and swear not to tell me my pumpkin isn't my pumpkin.”
“Daddy!” Dawn groaned.
“Okay, fifty,” he said earnestly.
“Deal!” Osborn agreed, much to the others shock, as Hank quickly filled out and handed her a check.
“I'm still your daughter!” Dawn Summers said stamping her foot.
“And you always will be,” Hank said firmly.
“Once in a lifetime coincidence,” Dawn Osborn said, “the number of chromosomes that make up those of us with European root stock aren't that varied and Dawn was a very popular name for those of European descent at the time we were all born. Probably a subliminal ad someone ran that made the name stick in the head. Look close and you'll see we aren't perfect twins, just similar.”
Hank smiled broadly. “Coincidences happen. So, what brings you this way pumpkin?”
“Well, we're going on a road trip but we need a bigger vehicle. So I thought I'd see if you knew someone,” Dawn Summers replied.
“Why not discuss it over lunch with your daughter, while we go to the bank so you'll have some private time?” Dawn Harris suggested.
“Give me your wallet and I'll deposit your share in your account,” Dawn Osborn offered.
After they'd left Dawn turned to her father. “Fifty thousand dollars?!”
“You're cheap at twice the price pumpkin,” Hank said, “do you have any idea what they sell white girls for on the black market these days? It's practically criminal.”
Dawn groaned. “I keep forgetting what your sense of humor is like.”
“So … this is the Xander whose name I've heard you moan in your sleep?”
“Daddy!” Dawn blushed. “Wait, I talk in my sleep?”
“Nah, I bribe your sister for all the good blackmail info,” he replied.
“Really?” Dawn asked incredulously.
“Yep, I'm not a great father and I try to make up for it with money,” he admitted, “thankfully your mother is a wonderful parent and you take after her.”
“You aren't that bad,” Dawn said quietly.
“But I'm not that good either,” Hank said honestly. “If you take any advice from me take this; know your limitations and learn from my mistakes, I'm a loving father not a great one. Now tell me about Xander.”
“Okay,” Dawn said quietly as they walked to the car and she gathered her thoughts. “Xander is … wonderful; when I'm down he cheers me up and when I'm bad...”
“He spanks you?”
“I wish … DADDY!” Dawn's cheeks were bright red. “He's firm when he needs to be and a big marshmallow the rest of the time.”
“And why did he look like a mouse surrounded by cats?” Hank asked.
“No reason!” Dawn chirped quickly.
Hank groaned and unlocked the car, as they were backing up he said, “Usually the father is supposed to protect the girl and growl at the boy; but in this case I think… being a good father means I have to give you some advice. Put yourself in his shoes and imagine there are one of you and four of him; that's a lot of ways for a heart to be pulled, go easy on him.”
Dawn's smile told him he'd said the right thing.
“And make sure there's a lot of Gatorade around so he doesn't die of dehydration.”
“They protect their sarcophagi fiercely,” Loki said, “and we need to make sure the theft is not connected to either of our peoples.”
“If you have the tools we can always pretend to be a third race,” Xander suggested, “what myths and legends have they heard of?”Before …
As the spell to clothe the key in human form and send it to the protector was completed the spell fractured and almost failed as the protector twinned itself.
The abbot of their order looked at the blue glowing ball that was left behind by the spell. “Take five everyone and then resume your places, we only sent half the key.”
One of the monks frowned. “Wouldn't that create two girls for the protector to watch over?”
“I believe so,” the abbot agreed, unaware of the focus of their spell no longer being a single target, “ but that should make it harder for the beast to find it, as the beast shall expect it to be a single item!” After …
“You will tell me what I want to know!” the beast growled, sinking her fingers into the abbot's brain but to no avail as he died before she could get more than a single clue.
“What the hell are pokemon?!” she roared. AN: Typing by Godogma!